Torah Portion: Vayechi (And He Lived) B’resheet/Genesis 47:28-50:26
Haftorah Reading: I Kings 2:1-12
Tonight, we read the last portion of Genesis. This portion covers the end of Jacob’s life as well as that of his son Joseph. It is interesting that the name of this portion is, “And He Lived,” but then goes into great detail of Jacob’s last days. If you remember we saw this same thing in the portion about the death of Sarah. What point do you think is being made here in our portion and also in the one about Sarah? I believe the important point being made is how have we lived our life; how did we spend our days? I pray for each of us this urgency of living over-rides the death that comes to us all.
Torah Portion: Vayelekh(He Went) D’Varim/Deut. 31
HafTorah: Hosea 14:1-10; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:15-27
Tonight we read the Torah section that always comes between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This Sabbath has a special name. It is called Shabbat Shuvah. Shuvah is a Hebrew word meaning to return or to repent. We find this word used in the reading of the prophets that goes with this Torah Portion. In Hosea 14:1-10 we read in the first verse, “O Israel return to the L-rd, your G-d for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.” So here the prophet is calling the people to repent. Remember that to repent means to turn around, to stop sinning and start doing good. These days call to us to take this step. We are called to change how we live. This is really the central idea found in the Messianic scriptures. We see it in the writing such as Matt. 3:2, Luke 13:3, Acts 5:31, Acts 17:30. These are only a small part of the verses that talk to us about repentance, stop, turn around and change how we live.
Torah Portion: Re’eh (Behold) Deut. 11:26-16:17
HafTorah: Isaiah 54:11-55:5
John 7:37-52; I John 4:1-6
Tonight I want us to start by looking at the first question I sent out this week. In Deut. 11:29 we read where Moses tells the people, when they enter the land half of the people are to go to Mt. Gerizim and recite the blessings of G-d. The other half would go to Mt. Ebal and recite the curses found in the Torah for obedience to G-d. Later in history Mt. Gerizim was looked at by the Samaritan sect as G-d’s holy mountain and their temple there as the place to worship. In the time of Yeshua their temple was in ruins but sacrifices were still brought there. The Jewish people held them to be heretics and made a point of not having any contact with them. Which brings us to my question. Where do we see this physical setting in the New Testament and whom did Yeshua meet there? Of course we all know her as the Samaritan woman at the well. She, perceiving that Yeshua was a Jewish prophet, presented Him with a question about the main point of conflict between Jews and Samaritans on where they should worship. (John 4:20) In His answer Yeshua firmly comes down on the side of Israel (John 4:22) but goes on to say the time is coming when people will also not be able to pray in Jerusalem. John 4:21 and John 4:23.